Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The 12 Pictures of 2012

For our Christmas letter this year, I am posting pictures from each month of the year. For more family highlights (if you're interested) click on posts on the side bar of my blog for each month.
This year has had its ups and downs with me working again (2nd grade - lots of changes to teaching!) and my sister's cancer treatment (she was actually cancer free 5 years in May - this is a new unrelated one).
Through it all, God continues to remain faithful and sustains us with His presence and peace.
We give Him thanks for our time together and all our wonderful friends and family.  Through it all, we remain richly blessed!

Hubby and I went away together in January.  We spent a few days in Tampa and saw friends (and "met" a new one - Winter of Dolphin Tale).  This is Hubby with our friends (he was in our first youth group!) after we had dinner on the bay.  I was safe from the pelicans since I took the picture!

Every February, we visit family in Texas.  This is what the boys spend a lot of time doing there!
L. received his Arrow of Light award from Cub Scouts in March.  He's active in a Boy Scout troop now.
Easter was on M's 13th birthday this year and Hubby's family from ABQ came to visit.
We went to Joplin in May.  It was the one year anniversary of the devastating tornado.  Hubby ran the half marathon and L the 5k.

Our family vacation was with friends on a cruise to Alaska in June.  We spent time in Portland with them afterwards too.  This is the four of us in Ketchikan.

This is what the boys and I were doing literally RIGHT before finding out Aunt's leukemia diagnosis.  Hubby had church meetings at a resort in Missouri.  We left early for me to be with Aunt - Hubby took the boys to a local water park.  Aunt is 2/3 finished with treatment now.

M is an 8th grader this year and L is a 6th grader. 
My niece was born in September!  Everyone in the family says this was the highlight of the year (vacation was a close second.)

We went to Kansas City in October for fall break.  Hubby has a friend he runs marathons with.  We enjoyed eating at an Austrian restaurant with them and then the four of our family attended a large downtown church before going to the Market and coming home on Sunday.
We had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving and I loved it that way!  The next day, Aunt helped us decorate for Christmas and Hubby and I did some shopping together.  We all actually REALLY took time off and it was a nice break.
I hesitated using this picture because the boys have already changed so much!  But, it's the best family picture we have of the year.
Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On the Home Front - Thanksgiving Eve

A peek through my window…. it’s dark now.  It was 76 degrees at one point today.  We’ve been commenting that 12 years ago when we came here for Thanksgiving and Grandpa took M. to sit in his work truck that it was below freezing!

What’s going on this week… it’s mid-week.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (parade, dinner and Cowboys game).  Friday, we’re putting the tree up and J. is getting groomed. L. has a wrestling tournament Saturday.  I’ll probably break down and look at my lesson plans, but only because I love the online planbook.

What “the boys” are doing… much to my dismay, they are in the living room wrestling.  I’m sure someone is going to whine or cry or both soon.

On my mind… how selfish I am at times and how the overwhelming things I have going on are more manageable now.  Even if not, others have far more to deal with on a daily basis.

On my bedside table…  Talk of the Town is what’s on the Kindle right now.  If Hubby doesn’t go to bed when I do, I turn Pandora on on the bedside table.

I am richly blessed…  to have such beautiful weather right now for so late in November, for finding some “new” clothes today, that we were able to take Aunt to her last chemo of 2nd round (one more to go) and to have my family at home right now.

I’m praying for… for a friend who is going through a storm in life right now.  I love her dearly and wish I could do more, but have been greatly praying for her whole family.

Our home…  The “laundry annex” (aka the dining room) must be cleaned out before Thanksgiving dinner!  Our home has stayed somewhat together this week – oh wait, that must be because it’s only Wednesday and not the weekend.  Am looking forward to having Christmas lights only on in the house.  I love the look and feeling when everyone is asleep, it’s quiet and I just watch the lights.

Menu planning… We had tacos tonight and while I was cooking I browned hamburger to use for chili on Friday (Mom’s this time).  We’re having turkey and ham both tomorrow and other stuff J.

A photo or two…

From a Family Reunion at the beginning of October

Thanksgiving nine years ago in Texas after my newphew was born.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - November 17

The wise stand in wind and pray not so much for danger to pass, but for the fear to flee. –Ann Voskamp

#1532- 1540
Reading A Holy Experience blog (3 gifts at noon)

A schedule of whatever I make it (3 gifts at noon)

His continued message of peace (3 gifts at noon)

Gingerbread hot chocolate

Hometown team winning

Problem solving

Online planbook

Texts from a friend.  Even though she is going through a difficult time, she is still encouraging me.

Scripture text from a friend.

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts - Nov. 12

My Father, United States Air Force
#1521 - #1531

Those willing to stand

God’s sovereignty

Jesus’ first word in the storm was “Peace”

Medical science

Needed rainfall

The comic relief of Duck Dynasty

Family Prayer Time

Looking at a history book together as a family

Five Guys with friends

Transparency with small group